Obama Leads in Close Race on Eve of Election

Source: RealClearPolitics

Robbie Gordan

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After more than a year of campaigning and nearly $2 billion in spending, the 2012 campaign season is finally nearing an end. Though the math looks better for Obama, the outcome is far from certain.

Boosted by his handling of Hurricane Sandy, Obama holds a small but significant lead in the electoral college. For Romney, the path to the White House runs through Ohio (18 electoral votes) where Obama has maintained a razor-thin edge in most polls. According to poll averages from RealClearPolitics, voters in Ohio prefer Obama over Romney by 2.8 percentage points.

Without a victory in Ohio, the Romney-Ryan ticket would need to carry virtually all other swing states, many of which lean towards Obama. As a possible alternative, GOP strategists have pointed in recent weeks to a possible upset in Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), but most polls in that state give Obama a lead of 4 or more percentage points.

In national polls, however, the president’s lead evaporates. RealClearPolitics reports an average advantage for Obama of just 4 tenths of a point, a statistical tie. Obama could conceivably win re-election and lose the popular vote, an outcome sure to provoke protests and delegitimize his second term. Such a result would invite comparison to Republican George W. Bush’s 2000 victory over Democrat Al Gore. Mr. Bush lost the popular vote by half a percentage point, but narrowly obtained the 270 electoral votes necessary to claim the presidency. (The election hinged on Florida, which broke for Bush by a historically thin margin of 537 votes out of over 5.5 million cast.)

Whoever wins the presidency, expect gridlock: Republicans appear to have a safe majority in the House of Representatives, while Democrats are poised to retain control of the Senate.


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5 Responses to “Obama Leads in Close Race on Eve of Election”

  1. jacob pfau on November 5th, 2012 9:23 pm

    The closing line is damn sad, but rings true nonetheless.

    It’s good to hear (in my opinion) that Obama is leading, though!

  2. shoover on November 6th, 2012 3:37 pm

    This is an incredibly close election, indicative of the division within our country right now. I’m just hopeful that whoever wins will be able to unite the country towards our common goal of stability.

  3. nhug on November 6th, 2012 3:44 pm

    I think that this election coming down to just a couple key states is a glaring issue in our current electoral system. This is not a new issue and one that needs to be address on a national level.

  4. zpacalin on November 6th, 2012 3:45 pm

    this election looks like it is going to be really close…hopefully there won’t be a repeat of the gore-bush month-long delay

  5. Ryan on November 6th, 2012 4:46 pm

    I am very interested in the result. At time this election season, the campaigning and mud-slinging seemed endless, but we will finally see the end result in just a few hours. If the experts are accurate, this race will surely be a tight one.

Obama Leads in Close Race on Eve of Election